How to grow your online SportsBook in 8 easy steps

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Let’s say you’ve managed to jump through all the legal hoops and open your very first online sportsbook. Congrats! What now?

Well, there’s more than one way to grow an online sportsbook. The best thing is that they’re all intertwined – so one good decision in one area will inevitably carry over into the other.

For example, bookies employing sports data providers such as OddsMatrix to automate the tedious stuff can focus on different aspects of their business, like marketing and customer acquisition and retention. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves – let’s delve into how you can grow your online sportsbook.

What Is an Online Sportsbook?

An online sportsbook is a website or a platform that sports bettors use to participate in sports betting.

That’s the basic answer. However, modern sportsbooks go beyond just providing a platform where customers can place bets. Sportsbooks are powered by incredibly complex algorithms and systems designed to help bookies streamline the administrative side of the business.

Bookies can, for example, automate the odds setting process by feeding historical data into the algorithm.

They can also develop incentive programs to attract and retain new customers. That data has to come from somewhere, which is precisely why sports betting data services such as OddsMatrix are so important – our product does all the grunt work for the bookies, leaving them to focus on other aspects of the business.

But, as you’ll read further down, that barely scratches the surface of what actually goes on under the hood of a modern sportsbook.

8 Easy Steps to Grow Your Sportsbook

That being said, let’s go over some actionable things bookies can do to grow their newly founded online sportsbook business.

Formulate a Risk Management Plan

That’s not to say you should take on unnecessary risks just because they might lead to success. This is where a risk management plan comes into play. We’ve already covered this topic in a separate article, so to summarize some of the actions you should take when managing risk:

  • Manage odds and lines effectively
  • Implement robust financial controls
  • Set betting limits
  • Regularly review and update your risk management strategies

Create Strong Incentives For New Users

While online betting was an oddity not 15 years ago, nowadays, we can safely say that the market is oversaturated with them. Whether betting experts or hobbyists, consumers are spoiled for choice, so bookies must go the extra mile to acquire and retain customers.

One of the best customer acquisition tactics revolves around incentives. When you sign up for a service, most of them will offer an incentive of some kind, whether in the form of a certain number of credits to spend in the platform’s store or an x% discount for a set period of time.

Betting platforms are no different – the only distinction is that the process is more involved.
Bookmakers – especially those new in business – often lead an uphill battle against presumptions long-ingrained into the public consciousness. Because the betting industry is (still) rife with fraud, consumers are understandably wary of inputting their credit card details into a new platform.

So, as a newly formed sports betting business, it’s up to you to help people move past those suppositions and convince them to sign up. You could, for example, offer a sign-up bonus to x amount for every $100 in bets, together with a free bet after their first deposit.

The benefit is threefold; for one thing, it encourages new customers to make a deposit; secondly, it demonstrates that you are a legitimate bookmaking business. Finally, it offers customers an excellent opportunity to become familiar with your platform.

That’s just one way to go about incentives. Some bookmakers have become experts at gamifying the platform, offering bonuses once the user reaches certain thresholds.

Use Content Marketing For Customer Acquisition & Conversion

Content marketing is a vast subject we won’t explore fully in this article. Its importance in the growth of a newly formed sportsbook cannot be understated, as it’s one of the best tactics to bring in more players looking to gamble.

There are several ways to go about this, but they all revolve around one simple principle: developing targeted marketing strategies tailored to reach specific customer segments. This means leveraging every digital marketing channel possible:

  • Social media for brand awareness initiatives
  • Performance marketing for acquisition and conversion
  • Blog content for proposing solutions to specific pain points and educating your audience about what your business is

While social media has proven hit and miss in the last few years for various reasons – algorithmic changes within the platforms, company restructurings – content marketing is a surefire way to grow your sportsbook’s online presence if appropriately executed.

Understand Betting Types And Strategies

Modern bettors are more connected to the goings-on of the betting industry than ever before. By now, it’s safe to say that every semi-professional bettor has a gigantic spreadsheet documenting every possible move and betting strategy. And bookmakers have no choice but to adapt their offering to this emerging meta.

That’s why, as a newly formed sportsbook, understanding the various betting types and strategies is essential to offer a service that is not only interesting enough to capture the attention of bettors but also fail-proof against exploitation. We have covered betting types and strategies in separate articles, so if you want to delve deeper into this topic, they’re a great starting point.

Use Sports Data Providers Such as OddsMatrix

In the sports betting industry, data is king. Data allows successful sports betting operators to make their business more efficient and offer customers what they want. Data is what keeps sportsbooks safe from fraudulent parties. Finally, data is what helps sportsbooks maintain fairness and transparency.

Sportsbooks need to get that data from somewhere – this is where OddsMatrix comes in. OddsMatrix is a sports betting data solution that provides bookmakers with essential tools custom-built to help them manage their operations more efficiently and competitively. Generally, the service collects and analyzes vast amounts of data and offers features meant to streamline the bookmaking process.
More specifically, OddsMatrix offers the following services:

  • Market coverage & data accuracy. OddsMatrix offers coverage for a wide array of sports and betting markets, resulting in a vast data pool that bookmakers can use to provide reliable odds and maintain the trust of their customers.
  • Live sports data. In the context of in-live betting becoming more popular than ever, Oddsmatrix’s services updates odds continuously to reflect the realities on the pitch. With this feature, bookmakers can access a continuous stream of accurate data and allow customers to place bets on live matches.
  • Player profiling. OddsMatrix’s fraud prevention tools and algorithms analyze customers betting behavior and asses the risk factor associated with that player. Bookmakers can then use this assessment and make an informed decision on whether said player’s betting behavior constitutes fraudulent intent or not.

Set Up a Referral Program

Another method to grow your sportsbook is to set up a referral program. In short, a referral program is a marketing tactic companies use to encourage loyal customers to tell other people – usually from within their close circle – about their product or service.

While there are several referral-type programs, the end goal is always pretty much the same across all of them. Getting said people to sign up, use the company’s product and, ideally, recruit them into the referral program to get other people to sign up, and so on and so on. When done correctly, referral programs can coalesce into a healthy and active community of customers that the business can tap into for marketing purposes.

So, even going solely by that little intro, you can already see why setting up a referral program can be a great growth opportunity for your sportsbook. There are many systems to go for, the most typical of which consists of offering current customers a financial reward for each person who signs up and deposits money via their referral. Or, a flat referral fee system that rewards participants with a percentage of the money that one deposits.

Automate as Many Tedious Operations as Possible

Modern sportsbooks have lots of moving parts, which is why keeping the operation well-oiled at all times can be overwhelming for up-and-coming betting operators. In this case, automation is the name of the game. We’ve written an entire article about machine learning and AI in sports betting, so you should check that out if you want more details.

One of the biggest pain points bookmakers often face is event creation and scheduling. However, OddsMatrix can help bookmakers automate the process of creating and scheduling events for betting. This includes generating event listings, assigning market types, and setting opening and closing times for bets. Automating these processes can save time and resources, allowing bookmakers to focus on other aspects of their business.

Don’t Forget About Esports

The sports betting industry has long evolved past traditional sports. Today, sports bettors are dividing their attention between conventional sports and eSports. The main reason is that, unlike traditional sports, eSports are a purely digital phenomenon that, thanks to the arguably more complex play mechanics powering them, add an exciting dimension to betting that regular sports cannot provide.

A brief look at all the meta mechanics behind a game such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is enough to realize the betting opportunities resulting from them.

While in a standard sport like soccer, there are only so many variables to bet on – final score, winning team, etc. – in Counter Strike Global Offensive, players can place wagers on things like the number of maps won by a team, the winner of a single map, a team’s score, and the total rounds played on a map, to name just a few.

Things can get even more complex in competitive strategy games such as Dota 2, a game that has so many mechanics under the hood that they warrant their own article.

As it so happens, OddsMatrix also provides coverage for eSports betting – so if you’re a bookie looking to expand into this industry, look no further than our services.

Grow Your Online Sportsbook With OddsMatrix

Growing an online sportsbook from the ground up can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the right tools and solutions will make the road ahead less rocky. Start growing your online sportsbook with OddsMatrix, the leading sports betting data provider used by thousands of sportsbooks worldwide.